The Thursday before Christmas Rich and I were invited to the Cuban, just off Millennium Square, to sample their menu in return for a review. I do relish the chance not to cook now and then so we accepted. Before I continue describing the food, atmosphere etc I have to say this was one of the most disappointing meals out I've had in a long time. It could be that the Cuban was having an off day but judging this occasion alone, they really need to pull their socks up. It was perhaps partly our fault for going in the busy party season. We arrived and were shown to our table, the music was loud, and rather un-Cubanish Shakin' Stevens was playing.
About five minutes later the waitress brought us some food menus and then shortly returned to ask us what we'd like to drink, these menus we had not had delivered, this was rectified. I decided we should share the mojito taster platter, a classic after all. The food menu is rather uninspiring and mostly a mix of Tex Mex and Spanish style dishes with the word Cuba/Cuban thrown in occasionally. After trying to find something to get excited about I settled on 'lechon asado con espinacas y chorizo', which is basically pork belly with spinach and chorizo. In it's traditional form, as the national dish of Puerto Rico, this is suckling pig and this would be made with shoulder slow cooked often with orange juice, herbs and spices. Rich ordered mojo kebabs and some padron peppers to start with.
The mojitos were pretty tasty, the lychee one was my favourite it was sweet and sharp enough to be well balanced, so if you fancy a few cocktails you'll be in fairly safe hands here. Whilst we waited for our food to arrive we checked out the decor, Cuban photographs and posters around the place, as expected. The toilets are really rather plush by the way so was somewhat impressed by those. On to the padrons.
The padron peppers were oily and tasted very bitter. There were certainly no hot ones as is usually the case where 1 in 10 is a firecracker, we didn't finish these as they were pretty disappointing. Hoping that the mains would change things we sipped our way through half the mojitos.
|rice and black beans|
Let's start with the positives, my pork belly main dish was actually really well seasoned and pretty tasty, the meat portion was really generous, even if it did land on the fattier side, even for pork belly. The chorizo was thickly sliced and the sauce was really rather good, it did surprise me considering the standard of the padron peppers. However my rice and beans had no flavour at all, no salt no coconut no nothing, the blandest rice I've ever had, this had to be an accident I can't think that rice would be sent out tasting like that.
Rich's mojo kebabs were scanty on the meat although the sauce drizzled on top was fruity and zingy the chicken had a very spongey, almost cottage cheese like texture which was somewhat unnerving, as if it had been defrosted and reheated in a microwave. The Cuban fries were deemed 'ok' and the Cuban coleslaw was just standard coleslaw like you could get anywhere. For £14.95 and £13,95 respectively the portions were very differently sized and in Rich's main's case, quite pricey.
The food was mostly sub-standard and lacked care and attention to detail. I think on a night where there is live Latin music and you have a few drinks in your hand it could be a fun place to be but the food needs work. To take a look at the menu for The Cuban or find out about their live music nights check out their website
. Please note that this meal was offered by The Cuban in return for a review, this did not affect my opinion in anyway.
I've eaten there a couple of times since it opened as I live very close and I'd agree with your thoughts. It seems to be good for cocktails and can be very lively at the weekends but the service is inconsistent and the food on the whole disappointing for the price.ReplyDelete
Thanks, it was surprisingly disappointing considering what could be achieved quite easily, hopefully they take this on board and change.ReplyDelete